When is the best time to use contractions? — jean’s writing

Okay, first things first. If you’ve read any of my post you know…

I’m no expert. 

But recently a fellow writer Jena C. Henry, be sure and hop over and check out her blog, posed a question.

When is the best time to use contractions? 


I, in turn, agreed to toss the question out to my readers.

However, as this is my blog, here are my thoughts.

No rule says we must use contractions. I don’t want my writing to sound as if I’ve got a stick up my ass. Unless of course one of my characters is actually walking around with a stick, well you know.  To me, writing with contractions makes the story and dialog sound less stilted and more inviting.

However, I don’t think a contraction is warranted in every instant. In other words, I believe this is just one of the many tools in a writer’s arsenal. Using them should be part of a writer’s personal preference or style. There are times when using a contraction can sound confusing and may take an extra beat for the reader to figure out what is happening. Any doubt- write it out. Remember, a good rule of thumb is to “write like you talk.

Click here and grab this cheat sheet of Common Contractions.

Now Jena and I would like to hear your answers.

When should a contraction be used?

Do you use more, or less, contractions in your writing?

Do you think they are overused?

Should writers forgo them for a more formal style?

At the bottom of this post, I’ve linked a few articles with a bit more authority on the subject than me. So keep reading!

Leave me a comment – I love hearing from you!

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and Amazon.com.

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 

Keep reading!

Using Contractions Correctly

Contractions by Neal Whitman, read by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl

Contractions List: When To Use and When To Avoid by


via When is the best time to use contractions? — jean’s writing


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